Sunday, February 5, 2017

Reflection: Matthew 5:13-16

The Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Matthew 5:13-16

Today Jesus coins a phrase that we continue to use today. He tells his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth.”  What does that phrase mean to you? What characteristics would you use to describe a person that you consider to be “the salt of the earth?” Down to earth? Practical? Sensible? Caring? Most likely all of us are “salt of the earth” in a variety of ways. However, Jesus also says that if we lose our “saltiness,” we also lose our tastiness and then we are not good for anything! Is that what we desire?

Jesus also tells his disciples (and us): “You are the light of the world.” This is a powerful and yet perhaps an intimidating statement. Light is essential in many ways. Plants cannot grow without light. Light enables us to see more clearly. If we do not have light, we stumble and struggle through life. And if we take Jesus’ words seriously, we need to share our light with everyone we encounter.

As yourself: Do I truly consider myself the “the light of the world?” If you answer yes, how do you share your light? What acts do you do that bring light to other people? What are the gifts of light you share with others: a smile, a kind act, noticing someone who needs some help or encouragement, reaching out to someone who is lonely, sitting with a friend who is ill or simply sharing a flower or fresh tomato from your garden? These are small acts but they are filled with light.

Now, let’s shift the focus. What are the arenas of your life where your light may be dim or perhaps even extinguished? What is the cause of the loss of light? Do you sense any glimmer of light beginning to shine in this arena of your life? How do you experience God in this situation?

Our light is not our creation. God chose to make us creatures of “light.” Our light is not ours; it is a share of God’s light. Nor is our light to be hoarded. Our light has been given to us to share with our family, friends, the strangers we meet, and our world. Today may you consciously and generously let your light shine! After all, our light comes from God, thus it truly is God’s light that is shining through us!

Our world is in desperate need of light. There is a tremendous amount of darkness, pain, tragedy, loneliness and sadness in our world. Today and every day, the world needs your light and my light! Together we can light up the world with God’s light and love!

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